Bosphorus

Bosphorus is the only strait in the world that passes between two continents, Europe and Asia. Being the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Bosphorus has always been of great commercial and strategic importance! This significance of the strait, was one of the factors in the decision of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, to found there his new capital, Constantinople (Istanbul), in 330 AD…

 

During the early centuries, there were only temples dedicated to sea gods, to ensure a safe journey at these waters. At the Byzantine Empire, many Byzantine monasteries were built on its’ banks, obtaining great fame over the years. Through the centuries, Bosphorus was also an inspiration for many fiction stories, legendary monsters and powerful heroes… such as Symplegades, ship Argo, Jason, Persian King Darius and many more…

This wonderful strait is what makes Istanbul even more amazing! The city looks like as if it bows on the banks of Bosphorus. All the monuments from previous centuries and the constructions of the last decades, have created an unbelievable scenery along this incredible strait …

Taking a cruise on Bosphorus, you will have opportunity to admire all the sights both on European and on the Asian side of the city. A totally different experience!

On the Europian side you can admire the impressing Dolmabache Palace, the green parks, the imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace and the beautiful Ciragan Palace which is now a five star hotel. Ortakoy, Arnavutkoy and Bebek, lovely and elegant neighborhoods of the city, located right on the banks of Bosphorus. There are also many great shore-front wooden villas called Yalis, that were popular during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, when rich people used them as a second home, especially for their holidays! Moreover there is a rustic stone fortresses, Rumeli Hisar…and the Emirgan Park with its pavilions and the colored tulips.

On the Asian side lies the Beylerbeyi Palace and right behind it, rises the Camlica Hill, which offers an amazing overwiew of the city, being the highest point of Istanbul. Near by, are also located the beautiful Kucuksu, the Hidiv Palace and Anadolu Hisari which is a fortress built for the second Ottoman siege of Constantinopole.

The two sides of the city are connected by the imposing suspension bridge of Bosphorus. The first bridge that united the two continents and brought the two sides of Istanbul, even closer! A spectacular sight, especially during the night hours, lighted until the first morning hours! Near the Rumeli Hisari, is located the second bridge, built in 1988. Constructions for a third bridge have already began! At the end of the Bosphorus strait, starts the famous Black Sea! The most populous Turkish cities along its coastline, are Trabzon and Samsun. Daily tours departs every day from Istanbul, to beautiful places located at Black Sea.

 

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